Fogo Island Inn launching line of luxurious $500 pyjamas
Project employs local sewers and quilters, invests in community
If you're looking to find some high-end sleepwear, a group of artists and designers has created some new pyjamas meant to reflect Fogo Island.
In November, the Fogo Island Inn is introducing a limited run line of luxurious unisex pyjamas and getaway packages.
Toronto-based designer Jeremy Laing helped create the Stripes and Dots Fogo Island Pyjamas.
"A couple years back I met Zita Cobb — who's the founder of Shorefast on Fogo Island — at a fundraiser in Toronto, and also Zin Taylor, who's an artist who'd been there on residency," he said.
It has a cute polka dot effect that's really charming.- Jeremy Laing
"[Cobb] connected the two of us with this idea that she had of making some pyjamas for the inn, and they were birthed from there."
Laing said the PJs are hand printed with a mix of fabrics.
"It's a combination of striped and dotted fabrics that is hand block printed with a striped trim and striped pants and a dotted top," he said.
"It has a cute polka dot effect that's really charming."
Laing said Cobb's stories of her sleepwear growing up in Fogo provided inspiration for the project, which is meant to represent the island.
"I think as a keystone, that's where it started," he said.
"Then Zin Taylor, the artist who I worked with, had been to the island as part of the residency program and had developed a project using the stripe and dot motif, so that's also from the place."
The pyjamas are made and sewn on the island, and Laing said he worked out a production process with local workers.
"A huge part of the mandate of the foundation is that it gives back to the community through employment and other initiatives," he said.
"As a result, we did as much as possible on the island, employing local quilters and sewers. It was really neat to work with them."
There are only about 150 pairs of the pyjamas available at just under $500 per pair, with most of the cost going toward labour and materials.
"As a not-for-profit situation, it's not like there's a huge retail mark-up," said Laing.
"I think there's about 15 per cent built into the price that goes back to the community, and the rest is purely the cost of having made it."
You could sleep easy knowing that at least no one was harmed in the process.- Jeremy Laing
He said a focus on transparency in sourcing and environmental issues and making sure people involved make a fair wage was part of the project, and something that Laing said makes the sleepwear worth the price.
"Part of the project is that it's important to know where the things that you consume come from, and when they're made by neighbours or people in your community, I think it's nice to know they got paid a good wage for making them," he said.
"You could sleep easy knowing that at least no one was harmed in the process."
Fogo Island Inn's Pyjama Time Sleepaway will take place in November, with the pyjamas available at the inn and through the online Fogo Island Shop.
With files from Weekend AM